Are you an enabler?
Let’s face it. It is hard to say no to people, especially our own children. How many times have we just given in to our kids because we don’t want to listen to the consequences of not letting them have their way?
(I personally have been guilty of this a few times.)
When my daughter turned sixteen, she immediately expected to have access to a car to drive. I warned her for months that if her attitude didn’t improve, she would not be driving our Volvo everyday to school.
She turned sixteen (in August) and Brad and I followed through with our threats. She had to keep riding the bus to school. We told her that if it significantly improved, we would think about Christmas.
Did this hurt us?
Yes! As much as it hurt her, it hurt us too. I still had to drive her on occasion to morning tutorials or pick her up from after school tutorials. It would have been much easier to let her drive our extra car that was in the driveway but what would that have taught her?
Brad and I stayed strong and we saw positive changes in her attitude. By Christmas, she had drastically improved her attitude and therefore when the new semester started, she got to drive our old Volvo to school everyday.
I believe that you have to sometimes let you kids fail. Don’t lie for them. Let them earn the “F.”
IF A PERSON NEVER HAS CONSEQUENCES, THEY WILL NEVER STOP THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR!
I have read a few articles on enabling behaviors. The worst thing you can do is enable your child.
What happens to kids whose parents never tell them no and do everything for them?
These kids turn into adults who are not capable of living healthy lives. These enabling parents have taught their children no boundaries so they in turn end up being adults with no boundaries and who feel entitled to everything.
-entitled to other people’s money
-entitled to not have to work
-entitled to let other people do work or commitments for them
Why am I not an entitled person?
Because my parents let me fail. After graduating from college, it was a month until I would get my first paycheck for my new teaching job. I had Paige and lived in an apartment on my own. I ran out of money. My electricity bill was due and I needed to pay it so that my electricity was not turned off. I asked my parents for money to make it and guess what?
They told me no.
What did I do?
I went to the bank and took out a loan for $1,000. The bank charged me 33% interest on this money because I barely had a credit history.
Do I appreciate what my parents did?
Absolutely. My parents helped me A LOT when Paige was born. By the time I asked for the money, they felt that they had helped me out enough. It was time for me to figure it out myself. I did figure it out. If I would not have been able to get the $1,000 loan, I would have sold something to get the money or I would have found a way to earn it. I would have figured it out because I would have had no other choice.
As a society, we have to let our kids have consequences. We have to be able to tell them no and deal with the consequences. Will they “not like us” for awhile if we tell them no or give them a consequence? Absolutely! That is ok! It is ok for our kids to not like us every once in awhile. It means that we are doing our jobs as parents!!! I am very thankful that my parents taught me boundaries and let me have consequences. It means that as an adult, I respect other people and value good behavior.
My question for you is this: Are you an enabler?